With a perfect forecast for the next few days the four of us, me, Dave, Ben and George couldn’t resist heading back to the peak district for a couple of days before New Year. We turned up at Burbage late on the Sunday night. With the rock conditions as good as they were, we couldn’t help ourselves lashing the headtorches out and getting stuck in. I was itching to do ‘Simba’s Pride E8 6b’, which I think is one of the best aesthetically looking lines at Burbage with an appropriate name. It has no gear, so it is a solo with an acceptable landing zone if you look at the surrounding terrain of jumbled boulders. So I put a rope on it and messed around with a shunt.
I still don’t 100% trust shunts, I don’t know what it is, it just feels wrong. If I fall I always find myself grabbing the rope, this is not good, as the shunt usually needs a sudden fall to make it catch the rope.
I was pleasantly surprised with the moves, it seemed to flow nicely. I thought it felt pretty straight forward until the last couple of meters. This took quite a bit of working out, especially getting to the break just below the top. I couldn’t help thinking the final move was a bit of a wild slap of desperation, and if I was to fall off anywhere, it would be there, not a nice proposition.
Meanwhile the rest of the team where messing around on the ‘knock E4 5c’. Before we knew it, it was 3am. All quite exhausted we piled under the overhang to spend a rather uncomfortable night in sub zero temperatures with inadequate sleeping bags.
It was an extremely cold morning and took a good hour to get anything like arm enough to consider climbing.
‘Nosferatu E6 6b’ is another route I’ve wanted to do for a while. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to listen to the Kings of Leon on my iPod. Turns out it was very distracting, I ended up pulling my headphones out in a rather exposed position. Finally I could think clearly, my legs stopped shaking and I latched the ledge just before the dramatic dyno to finish! A huge jug on the top took me by surprise. A successful flash.
George top roped it. Poor guy, he split virtually all his fingertips. “George, I think your fingers are cursed!”
Next on the list was Pebble Mill ‘E5 6b’, I got the impression from the guide that it was pretty much a solo, but as I found out from the good holds just above half height there was still a really balancey committing move to the top breaks. Didn’t fancy it so down climbed and dropped onto the bank to the side. “Think I’ll come back with a rope and some gear”.
Spirits where raised when everyone sent Bogart left hand one after the other, Whoop!
Another top rope on Simba and I was convinced I would be ok on it. But decided to save it for the next day. The next day I warmed up on completing Pebble Mill. Then mustered up the courage to solo Simba’s pride. Great!
photo by Ben Robinson (c) 2009